Uttarakhand teen murder: Resort demolished, but official says ‘all evidence safe’

Days after an Uttarakhand resort near Rishikesh was demolished – following the alleged murder of an employee – a member of the Special Investigation Team leading the probe has claimed that all physical and forensic evidence from the site has been secured.

“Forensic team had collected all evidence from Vanatara resort before its demolition (on September 24). All evidence found there being used in forensic investigation is safe; further probe underway,” PR Devi was quoted by news agency ANI.

The probe is in connection with the alleged murder of a 19-year-old receptionist working at a property owned by Haridwar BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit.

Pulkit and two other employees have been arrested.

The body was recovered from a canal near Rishikesh, days after she went missing. Violent protests erupted in areas surrounding the resort as family and activists demanded action, after which the administration began demolishing the structure.

As they did, though, critics pointed out that evidence may also have been destroyed.

A preliminary autopsy conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh indicated she died of drowning. There were, however, antemortem injuries (those received before death).

Her family had refused to perform the last rites till they received the final report. However, she was later cremated on the banks of the Alaknanda following assurances from the state government – that a fair investigation would be carried out.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has promised that no one involved in the murder will be spared. He also instructed officials to ‘ensure better law and order’ and also to keep a close watch on ‘anti-social elements who are disturbing the peaceful environment’.

(With agency inputs)